Chevron Rewards Survivors of Fracking Explosion With Pizza CouponS

What does Chevron owe the people of a small Pennsylvania town after two of the oil giant's fracking wells exploded and burned for five days? A free pizza and a two-liter bottle of soda, that's what. At least that's better than being immediately killed in the explosion.

Philly.com reports that Chevron sent out some "free pizza" vouchers (actually just handwritten gift certificates) to the Bobtown residents who live near the disaster site. The pizza vouchers were delivered with a letter from Chevron dated February 16:

"We are sorry to have missed you," the unsigned form letter from Chevron says. Then there's a carefully worded non-apology and, crucially, the voucher for a "special combo only" of a large pizza and a jug of soda from Bobtown Pizza.

Because life is especially uncertain when your neighborhood can explode and burn for days at any moment, thanks to the deadly fracking wells everywhere, the pizza voucher expires on May 1.

A man who was working at the site of the explosion is "presumed dead," because no trace of him has been found.

Both wells continue leaking natural gas into the air, and Chevron was given special permission to take a million gallons from nearby Dunkard Creek to pour over the noxious wells and sink back into the groundwater supply. Drinking water poisoned by the fracking industry is responsible for a wave of illness and disease in Southwest Pennsylvania, although the area's boom in natural gas fracking is just six years old—longer term exposure to many of the poisons produced by the wells, such as benzene, are known causes of cancer and birth defects.

Like many parts of Pennsylvania, the rural community of Bobtown is covered with fracking wells. The government of Pennsylvania is completely owned and operated by the natural gas industry, to the point where it's illegal for doctors in the state to let patients know that fracking is killing people.

Ken Layne writes Gawker's American Journal. Image of fracking in South Montrose, Pennsylvania, via Getty Images.